Six Nations: Wales prepared for Italy whatever the outcome of Sergio Parisse hearing

The Azzurri captain could be suspended for the remainder of the Six Nations

Wales insist they will be prepared for Saturday’s crunch game in Rome, despite the current uncertainty over the availability of Italy’s talisman Sergio Parisse.

The Azzurri captain is set to face a disciplinary hearing in Paris later today after he was sent off last weekend playing for his club Stade Francais against Bordeaux-Begles.

Parisse was dismissed for allegedly insulting match referee Laurent Cardona, and he could receive a minimum six-week ban, which would rule him out of Italy's remaining RBS 6 Nations games this season against Wales, England and Ireland.

The 31-year-old was a key performer during the 23-18 victory against France earlier this month and has been a vital part of Italian teams since making his Six Nations debut in 2005.

Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley said: "We are preparing the same, regardless of whether Sergio Parisse is going to be playing.

"We cannot control that decision. Parisse is world class and if he does not play it will have an impact, but we have to concentrate on putting our own house in order."

"He's world class, there is no doubting that, and Italy rely on him heavily, as would any team he is in," added Wales captain Ryan Jones.

"He is a great athlete and he is very good in and around the set-piece. He's pretty special. We are preparing as though he is playing, and we will cross that bridge on Thursday."

Jones, meanwhile, is savouring the prospect of seeing Sam Warburton back in Test match action on Saturday.

Jones is set to lead his country for the 31st time, keeping the job despite Warburton - Wales' 2011 World Cup skipper and a Six Nations title and Grand Slam-winning captain last year – being back to full fitness following a shoulder injury.

Wales beat France 16-6 last time out in Warburton’s absence, as Jones led the team to a memorable triumph which resulted in Howley naming an unchanged starting XV, with Warburton on bench duty this weekend.

Jones, though, is very much a reluctant hero, despite often being Wales' go-to man during a 71-cap international career that began more than eight years ago.

"The captaincy is only a title," the 31-year-old Ospreys star said.

"I am happy to be involved, and I am enjoying it. If the captaincy comes along, great, but it is just about contributing to the team and helping it be successful.

"Sam is a mate of mine, and I have always tried to be there for him since he took over as captain. We chat over various things.

"Sam is very much his own man. You have to be true and honest to yourself, and if you are not then you are found out pretty quickly. Rugby is ruthless.

"It is still Sam's team, if you like, and we want him to be confident and playing well."

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral